Who was Miss Jennie A. Hartford?

In Oliver Case’s Bible two other names are written. One is his younger sister, Miss Abbie J.[Abigail Jane] Case and the other is a Miss Jennie A. Hartford. Based on my research of Miss Hartford, I believe she was likely his love interest and possibly she may have been engaged to marry him. Her name was written just above his name in the Bible and she was the same age as Oliver, born in 1840. Could it be another broken heart caused by the Confederate bullet that ended Oliver’s life? It is certainly possible.

 

In 1863, the year following Oliver’s death, she married James Wesley Latimer who was likely a distance cousin of Oliver and Abbie.  

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The Burial of Oliver Case

The following passage is taken from “Recollections of Camp and Prison Life” by Alonzo Grove Case, Company E, 16th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers (from the collection of The Simsbury Historical Society):

I went with my Brother to the Eighth Regiment to learn the fate of my younger Brother Oliver and found only eight or 10 of his company left from about 40 they had in the morning. Was told by a comrade that stood beside him that he fell and he called him by name but no reply. Said he was no doubt killed. The next morning we were marched down near the bridge and lay there all day. No one was allowed on the field as it was held by sharpshooters on both sides. The next day September 19 myself and brother had permission to go over the field and what for our brothers body being very sure he was dead we each took our canteens filled with water and commenced that awful sickening tramp and if I could picture to you the sad sites that we beheld. The ground for acres and miles in length were strewn with dead and wounded. The wounded crying for water they having lain there the whole day before and two nights — but everyone was looking for some comrade of their own Regiment but some time that afternoon we found the body of our brother we were looking after. He was no doubt killed instantly the bullet having passed through his head just about the top of his ears. We wrapped him in my blanket and carried him to the spot where the 16th dead were to be buried having first got permission from the Colonel of the Eighth and the 16th to do so. The 16th men were buried side by side in a trench and they dug a grave about 6 [feet] from them and we deposited the remains of my brother and that having first pinned a paper with his name and age on the inside of the blanket. Then they put up boards to teach with name and Regiment on them. His body lay there until December when father went there and brought the body to Simsbury where it now lies to mingle with the sole of his native town.

Timeline for the 8th CVI Related to Oliver Case – August 1861 to December 1862

This is a rough timeline for the 8th CVI for its first year. It is taken from several sources as noted.  Many of the dates/times for the Battle of Antietam were taken from a timeline on the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers website. Others references are noted.

Sequence for 8th CVI Sep 1861 to Sep 1862

Date/Time                   Event/Remarks                                                           

3 Aug 1861                 General Order No. 49 is published by the War Department authorizing call up of additional troops from the states.Connecticutis tapped for over 13,000 additional soldiers.

16 Sep 1861                Oliver Cromwell Case of Simsbury enlists in Company B, 8th CVI.

27 Sep 1861                8th CVI organized at Camp Buckingham, Hartford with Colonel Edward Harland of Norwich as Commander. COL Harland had recently returned from a three months’ service as a Captain in the 3rd CVI.

1 Oct 1861                  The Secretary of War Simon Cameron requests that Connecticut Governor William A. Buckingham send the two Connecticut regiments preparing for service to Camp Hempstead ,Long Island, with instructions to report to General Burnside for orders.      

1 Oct 1861                  Oliver C. Case is transferred to Company A, 8th CVI.

17 Oct 1861

4:00pm                        The 8th CVI is officially transferred to federal service and departsHartford bound for the Camp of Instruction onLong Island,NY (Jamaica). Unit strength is listed at 1,016.          

1 Nov 1861                 8th CVI moved toAnnapolis,MD.

10 Nov 1861               Oliver Case attends the evening service of an African-American church in Annapolis. He writes there was “much shouting and clapping of hands” and “such yelling and groaning as you never heard.” Although it was much different from the services he was accustomed to in his home church, he describes his attitude as “pleased” by the event. [Case Letters]

13 Dec 1861                8th CVI participates in a Brigade Review with 3 other regiments at Annapolis. [O.C. Case letter]

14 Dec 1861                8th CVI participates in a Division Inspection with 10 other regiments atAnnapolis. [O.C. Case letter]

 Oliver Case receives a package from his brother with food, dishes and other items.

15 Dec 1861                Oliver writes a letter to his brother thanking him for the package. According to the letter, most of the food items are ruined, but Oliver and his friends managed to “feast” on the walnuts and chestnuts. Oliver includes two interesting rumors. First, COL Harland (his regimental commander) is attempting to have the 8th remain atAnnapolis throughout the winter. Also, there is a rumor “that the negroes have burntCharleston.” After this rumor, Oliver includes his one word commentary, “Good.” Interestingly, toward the end of the letter, his previously beautiful handwriting begins to waver which Case attributes to an unexplained trembling of his hand. [O.C. Case letter]

25 Dec 1861                Oliver is part of a group of soldiers invited to attend Christmas dinner with General Burnside aboard a ship. He is the only soldier invited from his unit. [Case Letters]

Early Jan 1862            8th CVI sails for the coast of North Carolina as part of Burnside’s North Carolina Expeditionary Force.

7 Feb 1862                  8th CVI participates in Burnside’s landing atRoanoke Island,NC. In operations against the Confederate Forces, the regiment suffered no KIA or wounded because they were held in reserve during the entire battle.

8 Feb 1862                  The regiment is assigned the duty of holding “the landing and bivouac grounds, and prevent the enemy from turning our position by coming through the timber down the beach.” The Regimental Surgeon, Surgeon Storrs, is assigned responsibility for preparing receiving areas for the wounded of the brigade. [Report of Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. John G. Parke, dated 9 Feb 1862; Report of Surgeon Church dated 12 Feb 1862]

 Feb-Mar 1862             The 8th CVI is garrisoned with the remainder of Burnside’s forces onRoanoke Island.

 13 March 1862            The regiment is part of Burnside’s offensive against Confederate forces atNew Bern,NC. Parke’s Brigade makes a slow landing at the mouth of Slocum’s Creek from small boats ferried by a tugboat. The brigade moves up the right bank of the Neuse River until they hit the entrenchments of the Confederate forces defendin gNew Bern. The entrenchments were abandoned, but the brigade continued its march until nightfall. General Parke reported that “roads generally were in bad order, and the men marched in many localities through water and mud. In addition, heavy showers fell at intervals during the day and night, and although the men had their overcoats and blankets the bivouac was extremely trying.” [Parke, 22 Mar 1862]

 14 Mar 1862

Early morning             At about 7:00 am, the brigade continues its advance towardNew Bernand is quickly engaged by Confederate forces in entrenchments. Colonel Rodman, of the Fourth Rhode Island, discovers an opening in the entrenchments by which the Confederates can be flanked. General Parke orders the brigade to attack the entrenchments and the Confederate are soon flanked and the center of the Confederate line is broken.  [Reports of Harland and Parke, 22 Mar 1862]

 General Parke reports that all the regiments “were under fire, and the officers seemed proud of the men they were leading and the men showed they had full confidence in their officers.”  Two soldiers are killed in action and four are wounded.

 The attack upon the defenses of Newbern (March 14th) was made at an early hour, and the Eighth assisted in the capture of about five hundred Confederate troops. This was the regiment’s first baptism of blood. Its killed were privates Phelps of Company B and Patterson of Company I, with four wounded. The personal bravery of Colonel Harland amid the whistling bullets at Newbern, together with his skill and cool-headedness as a tactician, and his evident desire to shield his men from harm whenever possible, gave them a confidence in him which was never afterward shaken. [Vaill]

 The 8th was first in the battle in which they fought bravely…Gen Burnside came along up side of our Regt an[d] order[ed] us to charge on them in which we did in double quick time in which they fired upon us killing 8; wound[ed] several. It was a bold attempt but we won the victory driving the rebels in every direction. [Harrington]

19 Mar 1862                The 8th CVI and the 4thRhode Island leftNew Bern by steamer and traveled down the Neuse to Slocum’s Creek where they turned upstream to a landing point determined by General Burnside.  [Report of Parke, 9 May 1862]

20 Mar 1862                The 8th and the 4th are joined by Brig. Gen. Parke and his staff.  The brigade then marched for  Carolina City. [Parke]

 22 Mar 1862                The brigade reaches Carolina City.

 23 Mar 1862                Brig. Gen. Parke demands the surrender of the Confederate garrison at Fort Macon across the Bogue Sound from Carolina City. The demand is refused and the brigade prepares “for besieging the place.” Additional material is moved to the area. [Parke]

 23-29 Mar 1862          5 companies from the 8th CVI and 4th RI Regiment [unsure as to which companies] are detached from the Brigade at Carolina City and sent to Morehead City (2 companies – assumed to be from the 4th) and to Beaufort (3 companies – assumed to be from the 8th) in order to “seize all the boats and cut off all supplies for the garrison and stop all communication” with Fort Macon. The movement of the troops to Beaufort by boat is constantly under fire from the Confederates at Fort Macon. The force at Beaufort (assumed to be the 8th) established communications with the Union blockading fleet and the Confederate lines of communication with Fort Macon are severed. [Parke]

29 Mar 1862                Brig. Gen. Parke begins the movement of troops and material to effect the siege of Fort Macon. This movement continues until 10 April 1862 as only light draft boats are able to cross the sound. Seven companies of the 8th CVI are included in this force. [Parke]

12 Apr 1862                After some initial probing attacks by Parke’s Brigade, a permanent advance guard of five companies is organized and moves on the approaches to Fort Macon. According to Parke’s report “a skirmish occurred with the enemy, in which Captain Sheffield [of Company H] and a private of the Eighth Connecticut Regiment were wounded.” [Parke]

Between 12 Apr and 24 Apr 1862        During this period, the brigade continues to push toward Fort Macon. The Confederates attempt two counterattacks to break the siege of the forts.

The enemy made two ineffectual attempts at night to dislodge us from our advanced position, in one of which Lieutenant Landers and a private of the Fifth Rhode Island Battalion were slightly wounded, and in the other Major Appleman and a private of the Eighth Connecticut Regiment received severe contusions from a discharge of grape while digging rifle pits within 750 yards of the fort. [Parke]               

The siege of Fort Macon terminated during the last week in April by the surrender of the Confederate garrison – forced to such decision by the bombardment of Union batteries, which were supported by the Eighth. During the greater portion of the siege, – Colonel Harland being prostrated by typhoid fever – the regiment was under command of Major Appelman, who received a painful though not dangerous wound from a canister shot. [Vaill]

20 Apr 1862                Some portion of the regiment is detailed to assist with the firing on Fort Macon and defense of the Union mortar batteries located on Bogues Bank. The scene is captured in an original painting owned by the University of North Carolina.

http://www.lib.unc.edu/ncc/pcoll/civilwar/87-432.JPG

Late Apr to 1 July 1862                  The regiment enjoyed a period of rest and refitting at New Bern. [Vaill]

2 Jul 1862                    The 8th CVI is transported by rail to Morehead City,NC where they board the streamer “Admiral” and travel to Newport News,VA. The regiment spent the remaining days of July at Newport News. [Vaill]

1 Aug 1862                 The 8th and the 11th CVI travel by transport to Aquia Creek and then by rail to Fredericksburg, VA where they are assigned picket duty. The 8th camped on the grounds of the famous Lacy House (aka Chatham Manor) across the river from the city. [Vaill] Previous guests of the Chatham Manor included George Washington and Abraham Lincoln who had visited for a meeting with Union General Irvin McDowell just four months prior to the arrival of the 8th.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham_Manor

http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/45chatham/45facts1.htm

 Lacy House (Chatham Manor) – 1863

 

1 Sep 1862                  Union forces to include the 8th CVI are ordered to evacuate Fredericksburg and return to Washington, DC. [Vaill]

3 Sep 1862                  The 8th arrives at Washington, DC and makes camp on the grounds of the Capitol. [Vaill]

“The Mall” facing the Capitol during the Civil War

Sun 7 Sep Early AM                    8th CVI departsWashington,DC. Once on the road, they are delayed until 1000. Roads were crowded with the wagon trains of the AOP and soldiers. The sun was very hot and the march route was covered with a dust cloud that was stifling. Marched 10 miles that day. Halted near “Leeboro” (likely Leesburg in Maryland) [Marsh]

Tue 9 Sep 

Thu 11 Sep

1000                            8th CVI passes through the village of Damascus (Maryland) where they take a rest halt. They move on to Ridgeville near Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Heavy rain began after nightfall and continued all night. [Marsh]

Fri 12 Sep Morning                      8th CVI goes on the march again following along the B&O line for part of the march. Again this day, the wagons and soldiers created a significant impediment to movement along the muddy road. They take a rest halt in New Market before marching into the city ofFrederick. The Union soldiers are well received in the city. The regiment camped on the grounds of a hospital where there were bothUnion and Confederate patients being treated. CPT Marsh recounts being invited into aFrederick home for supper along with CPT Smith of Company E. [Marsh] Charles Buell (Company E) recorded that the soldiers were given wine and they had “hot tea and warm biscuit with butter.” [Buell]

Sat 13 Sep

Morning                      8th CVI is cheered again by the citizens as they leave Frederick. The regiment deploys skirmishers as they prepared to cross Braddock mountain outside ofFrederick. They enteredMiddletown on the far side of the mountain. Although it appeared that they were close behind the enemy, there was no engagement. [Marsh; Buell]

Sun 14 Sep

Early Morning             8th CVI was awaken at daylight by the sounds of battle coming from South Mountain. The regiment ate a breakfast of “bushmeal” before moving out toward the sound of battle in the late morning. [Buell] The regiment moved up the mountain toward the battle and deployed into a line of battle. However, no engagement with the enemy occurred. Silence settled over the area at around 9:00 pm and the 8th slept in their battle positions. [Marsh]

Mon 15 Sep                 The regiment wakes early and moves to the top of the mountain where all of Rodman’s division forms a line of battle. There will be no more fighting here because the Confederates are gone. Dead Confederate soldiers lay where they fell among the rocks and trees. The regiment marches on and arrives in Keedysville around midnight where they rest. [Buell; Marsh] At some point during the march, Harland’s Brigade is joined by the new 16th CVI. The 16th is a green regiment recently raised in Hartford County, Connecticut with almost no drill training. [Marsh] It is assumed that Oliver Case was reunited with his two brothers, Ariel and Alonzo, who are members of the 16th. Harland’s Brigade continues the march to Boonsboro.

Tue 16 Sep                  The 8th continued to march toward the far side of the Antietam Creek opposite the town of Sharpsburg near the Rohrbach Bridge (aka Lower Bridge and later known as Burnside’s Bridge).

1:00 pm                       The regiment is placed into a line of battle behind a hill opposite the Rohrbach Bridge about 1:00pm. The wagon trains are shelled and 4 soldiers are killed. Near nightfall, the regiment settles into battle positions for the night on the hills opposite the Rohrbach (Burnside) Bridge. Captain Marsh described the night as “dark and misty.” The Union regiments were not allowed to light fires. However, the glow from the fires of the Confederate soldiers across the Antietamcould be clearly seen. All the officers and men seem to understand that tomorrow there will be a large battle. [Marsh; Buell]

Wed 17 Sep

Early Morning

Around 6:00 am          The troops of the 8th are awaken and prepared immediately for battle. Just as daylight breaks, the Confederates begin to shell the units of the IX Corps including Rodman’s division and Harland’s brigade. Colonel Harland moves his brigade down Rohrbach lane to support a Union battery. The Confederates continue lobbing shells that are air burst artillery rounds as well as solid shot. Captain Marsh notes that there was no counterbattery fire from the IX Corps artillery units. Several soldiers of the 8th were killed or wounded during this bombardment including a member of Companies F and A and a Sergeant Marsh (unsure of unit). [Marsh, Buell]. According to Jacob Eaton, an officer in the 8th CVI, the soldiers panicked and scattered to avoid more incoming fire. Lt. Marvin Wait, Company A, 8th CVI helps to calm the men and reform the unit.

Being under fire on the morning of the l7th of September a ball from a rebel battery struck in the midst of his company killing three men and severely wounding another Lieutenant WAIT was covered with blood and earth. The shot produced some confusion in the company and several of the men commenced giving way. The brave fellow sprung to his feet amid a shower of bullets and ordered every man back to his post in the most gallant manner. [Eaton]

Around 7:00 am          Harland moves his brigade to the left rear into a swale and then faces the brigade to the left.

About 7 o’clock, in accordance with an order received from General Rodman, I moved the brigade into a position to the rear and to the left of the one formerly occupied, facing to the left, the new line of battle forming nearly a right angle with the old one. In this position we remained between one and two hours. Our next movement was a change of front formed on first battalion. This brought the line of battle in a position parallel to the one occupied at first, the right resting about 200 yards in the rear of the first position to the left. [Harland]

Around 7:15 am          A Confederate solid shot from artillery across the creek lands in the 8th CVI’s area killing three soldiers and wounding four in Company D. [8th CVI website]

Around 7:30 am          Harland moves the 8th back to the front of his brigade.

Around 8:10 am          Harland begins to extend his lines to the left by moving his brigade minus the 11th CVI detached to serve as skrimmers for the Rohrbach bridge assault.

Around 9:00 am          The 8th CVI is relocated to a ravine further to the left of the line. This provides some protection from the shelling. [Marsh]

Around 10:00 am        The 11th CVI is designated to act as skirmishers in the attempted capture of the Rohrbach Bridge. The mission ends quickly in disaster as the Georgia troops on the far side of the creek have clear shots at soldiers of the 11th. Captain Griswold leads his company of the 11th in an attempt to wade the creek just below the bridge. The captain and many of his men are shot down in the water. The regimental commander, Colonel Kingsbury is mortally wounded during the assault. About the same time or shortly thereafter, two companies of the 8th CVI are sent downstream to find a ford. [Sears’ book]

The remaining soldiers and officers of the 8th CVI watch the attempts to take the bridge by New York and Pennsylvania regiments. Captain Marsh calls it “the Grandest sight of my life.” [Marsh] It is believed that Marsh was watching the attempted assault by Crook’s brigade. Crook was unable to get his brigade beyond the fence along the Rohrbach Bridge road.

Around 11:30 am        Rodman’s division was ordered to move left, downstream to cross at the ford supposedly identified the previous day by General McClellan’s engineers. Two companies of the 8th CVI are sent to find the ford. The ford identified by the engineers is not Snavely’s ford and is being defended by sharpshooters of the 50thGeorgia on the high banks of the far side of the creek. It took Rodman’s division two hours to locate and move to Snavely’s ford only two miles from the Rohrbach Bridge.

I then sent out two companies of skirmishers from the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers to discover, if possible, a ford by which the creek could be crossed. [Harland]

Around 12:30 pm        The remainder of Harland’s Brigade is moved to Snavely’s Ford.

Around 1:00 pm          The Georgia troops on the far side of the Antietam Creek pulled back from the creek as the other IX Corps units had successfully secured the Rohrbach Bridge almost simultaneously. Rodman’s division successfully crosses the Antietam at Snavely’s ford and moves up a ravine toward Sharpsburg. The 8th CVI is temporarily detached to provide protection for a Union battery on the far side of the creek.

General Rodman ordered me to detach one regiment for the support of the battery belonging to the Ninth New York Volunteers, and to send the remaining regiments of the brigade across the creek in rear of the First Brigade, and, when I had placed the regiment in proper position, to join the balance of the brigade. I found the battery on the hill just below the ford. I detached the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, placed it in what I considered the strongest position for the defense of the battery, and then crossed the ford. [Harland]

Around 2:00 pm          The 8th rejoins Harland’s Brigade for the movement over the rolling hills toward Sharpsburg. Harland’s Brigade is ordered to the far left of Rodman’s Division.

While in this position the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers rejoined the brigade, and I moved still more to the right, in the direction of the bridge, and halted in the woods, just under the brow of the hill. From this point I was conducted by an aide of General Rodman, and placed in position in the rear of the First Brigade. [Harland]

Around 3:00 pm          After the IX Corps units that crossed RohrbachBridgeare resupplied, all the units begin to climb the ridge leading to the Harper’s Ferry Road and Sharpsburg. Around this time, the 8th CVI executes a countermarch. The reason for this countermarch may have been to properly position the regiment in the brigade line of march as they began to climb the ridge.

As we ascended the precipitous ridge which skirts the Antietam on the south I saw and saluted Lieutenant WAIT. As the company to which he belonged was next to the one on the extreme left and my own next to the one on the extreme right flank we seldom saw each other on the march. But as the regiment was here countermarched we passed each other. This took place less than an hour before he was killed. [Eaton]

 Around 4:00 pm          General Rodman orders his division to advance toward Sharpsburg and the Confederate defenders.  Fairchild’s Brigade begins to advance. Harland orders his brigade to advance, but only the 8th moves forward. For unknown reasons, the 16th CVI and the 4th Rhode Island do not advance. This places the 8th far in front of the brigade and unsupported by any other units.

4:05 pm                       Harland notices that the 16th and 4th are not moving. He requests guidance from Rodman as to halting the 8th. Rodman instructs him to let the 8th advance. Rodman assumes the mission of hurrying the other two regiments.

When the order was given by General Rodman to advance, the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, which was on the right of the line, started promptly. The Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and the Fourth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, both of which regiments were in a cornfield, apparently did not hear my order. I therefore sent an aide-de-camp to order them forward. This delay on the left placed the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers considerably in the advance of’ the rest of the brigade. I asked General Rodman if I should halt the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and wait for the rest of the brigade to come up. He ordered me to advance the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, and he would hurry up the Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and the Fourth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers I advanced with the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and commenced firing. [Harland]

4:10 pm                       As the Colonel Harland continues to move forward with the 8th, he notices that the Confederates are now on his left flank. General Rodman has turned the 16th CVI to face left and exposed the flank to the Confederates.

Thus our slender line was exposed to a murderous fire on the front and on the flank. [Eaton]

It is believed that about this time, Lt. Wait is severely wounded as he is closing the rank and encouraging the soldiers to move forward.

Captain Hoyt of Co A said in a letter to the parents of the deceased Lieutenant MARVIN WAIT fell at his post while urging on his men into that terrible storm of shot and shell. He was a brave noble hearted man and highly esteemed by all who knew him. The unflinching hero was first wounded in the right arm which was shattered. He then dropped his sword to his left hand he was afterwards wounded in the left arm in the leg and in the abdomen. He was then assisted to leave the line by private King who soon met Mr Morris the brave indefatigable Chaplain of the Eighth Regiment. [Eaton]

4:15 pm                       Rodman realizes his mistake in not stopping the 8th, but is shot in the chest as he turn the 16th toward the Confederates. Men from the 8th bear his body to the rear. Colonel Harland has turned his horse to alert the 16th of the danger, but his horse is shot from under him.

The Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and the Fourth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers not coming up, I turned to see if they were advancing, and saw some infantry belonging to the enemy advancing upon our left flank. Knowing that if they were not checked it would be impossible to hold this part of the field, without waiting for orders, I put the Spurs to my horse to hasten the arrival of the Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. My horse was almost immediately shot under me, which delayed my arrival. I found that the Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers had changed their front, by order of General Rodman. The line was formed facing to the left, and was nearly a prolongation of the enemy’s lines, except that they faced in opposite directions. I immediately ordered Colonel Beach to change his front, so as to attack the enemy on the right flank. This change was effected, though with some difficulty, owing to the fact that the regiment had been in service but three weeks, and the impossibility of seeing but a small portion of the line at once. [Harland]

4:18 pm                       Although Harland continues toward the 16th on foot, he is unable to turn the “green” units in the confusion of battle and a cornfield. The 16th and the 4th break and run from the field.

4:20 pm                       The 8th CVI continues moving forward and to the right toward the crest of the hill held by Confederate infantry under Toombs. Toombs has moved McIntosh’s Battery to meet the advancing 8th and fires canister directly into the advancing regiment.

4:25 pm                       In spite of the hail of fire from the Confederate guns, the 8th continues to advance overrunning the guns.

4:30 pm                       Captain Upham and soldiers of Company K, 8th CVI capture McIntosh’s Battery, but only momentarily. The Confederates counterattack with renewed strength from the recently arrived troops of A.P. Hill’s division. The 8th loses the guns, but continues to fight.

 4:35 pm                       Fairchild’s Brigade fighting to the right of the 8th is ordered to retire from the field. The 8th continues to fight, but is being flanked by the 7th and 37th North Carolina regiments. All the members of the 8th CVI’s Color Guard are killed in the fighting. The regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Appelman is seriously wounded and taken from the field. Major Ward assumes command.

It is believed that at this point in the battle Private Oliver Cromwell Case of Company A, 8th CVI is killed by a bullet that strikes him in the front of the head just above his ear line. His personal belongings may have been pilfered shortly afterward by the Confederates who retook this ground upon which the 8th fought so bravely. I believe Case’s bible was likely taken by a Confederate soldier who later traded it for food or other items to someone living in or around Sharpsburg. I believe that had the bible been on his person when his brothers found his body two days later, they would have kept it for the family. From there it somehow found its way to a yard sale in Germantown, Maryland in 1993. This is only a theory.

 4:40 pm                       Realizing that his regiment is alone and being flanked, Major Ward orders the 8th to retire. It takes three attempts to get the soldiers of the 8th to abandon the fight. The regiment retires in good order.

5:00 pm                       The 8th finds shelter and rest in the swale near the Otto House.

 6:00 pm                       Colonel Harland is able to gather the remnants of his brigade of the road west of the Rohrbach Bridge.

Friday 19 Sep 1862                Ariel and Alonzo Case of the 16th CVI are given permission to search for the body of their brother Oliver Case of Company A, 8th CVI. Alonzo believes that he was killed in action based on a conversation with an unknown friend of Oliver’s from the 8th. The friend saw him fall during the final assault, but Oliver did not respond when his friend called for him.

The Case brothers find Oliver on the battlefield shot through the head. He is buried near members of the 16th with a note containing identifying information pinned to the inside of his coat.

Dec 1862                     Job Case travels to theAntietambattlefield to recover the remains of his son, Oliver Cromwell Case. He finds his son’s remains and has him return to Simsbury for burial in the central cemetery in the middle of town.

There are two gravestones for Oliver Case. One is located at the Antietam National Cemetery and another in Simsbury as noted above. Did Job Case actually remove the body of his son and not some other soldier? It is likely that he did have his son’s remains due to the identification left on his body and an accurate description of the grave location provided by his brothers. The remains at the national cemetery may well be those of another soldier or it could be an empty grave.

 

 

The Two Graves of Oliver C. Case

 

Private Oliver Cromwell Case has two graves. At least, he has two gravestones in two different cemeteries. One is located in the Antietam Battlefield National Cemetery (photo above) and the other is in the Simsbury Cemetery [Memorial Gateway,Simsbury Cemetery Lot C-10] in his hometown of Simsbury, Connecticut(article, cemetery photo and recent photo of the gravestone are below). Where is he actually buried? Good question. I believe his remains were transferred to the Simsbury Cemeteryin December of 1862 by his father as his brother Alonzo recounted it after the war, but we cannot be completely certain. In the account Alonzo gives of finding Oliver’s body and burying him on the battlefield, he indicates that he and his brother Ariel pinned a paper identifying Oliver to his coat before he was buried in a temporary grave after the battle near Burnside’s Bridge.
 

 simsburycemetery3

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Vandals Topple Gravestones
June 2, 2004
By DON STACOM, Courant Staff Writer
SIMSBURY — The headstone for Union soldier Oliver Cromwell Case has stood over his grave at Simsbury Cemetery since 1862, when a grieving Job Case buried his 22-year-old son after the bloody Battle of Antietam. Now the marble monument lies face down in the dirt, toppled during the Memorial Day weekend in a vandalism spree at one of the town’s oldest burial grounds. Vandals knocked over 27 gravestones and shattered another one, doing thousands of dollars in damage. But the timing of the destruction infuriated local veterans, and dismayed townspeople who lined the sidewalks of Hopmeadow Street for the Memorial Day parade Monday. ‘It makes me sick that someone would do that. This was a soldier at Antietam. There’s no respect for people,’ said Evan Woollacott, commander of the town’s American Legion Post. Cemetery officials spotted the damage Monday afternoon as they prepared for a Memorial Day ceremony to dedicate a new flagpole on the hilly property. Several parade spectators walking back to their cars also noticed, said Jackson F. Eno, president of the Simsbury Cemetery Association. ‘It was disgusting. First we saw a couple of stones were knocked over and thought it was done by one jerky kid. Then we realized the magnitude and felt sicker,’ Eno said Tuesday. Police suspect the vandals randomly knocked down gravestones Sunday night or early Monday. Three detectives examined footprints and looked for other evidence Tuesday. Eno offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrests and convictions. The vandals broke some stones off their bases, and shattered one by prying it out of the ground and smashing it against a larger granite monument. Oliver Cromwell Case joined the Connecticut Volunteers Eighth Regiment, and was killed at Antietam in September 1862, according to documents at the cemetery and the historical society. In a letter, his brother Alonzo wrote of searching the battlefield with another brother, Ariel, for the body. ‘We found him lying dead,’ Alonzo Case wrote. ‘We got help and had him buried near the men of the 16th … His body remained here until Dec., when father went and had it brought to Simsbury for burial. Those were sad days for me.’ Simsbury police Sgt. Brian Cavanaugh is asking for tips. Det. Jim Polomsky can be reached at 860-658-3130.
 
 
 

 

 

 

The Discovery of Private Case’s Remains on the Battlefield

This incident occurred after 9:00 am on Friday, September 19, 1862 as members of the 8th CVI entered the battlefield for the first time since the battle on Wednesday.

“…then passing on to Co. A. were the body’s of Olive[r] Case, Orton Lord, Martin Wadhams and Lucius Wheeler…”

From a letter of Captain Wolcott P. Marsh, Company F, 8th CVI.

(located at http://8cv.home.comcast.net/8cv-frame.html)

 

Monument Dedication Remarks of Captain Henry R. Jones

Remarks of Captain Henry R. Jones upon the dedication of a monument to the 8th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment at the Antietam battlefield.

 

Given October 11, 1894

 

Comrades and Friends:

 

We stand on hallowed ground. The story of this spot, written in blood in 1862, has passed into the history of the Republic, and each loyal commonwealth, whose sons here did battle for the Union, has a share in the gallant record. The survivors of four Connecticut regiments are here to-day to dedicate perpetual

memorials of their several organizations. On one pilgrimage, and with a common aim, they are come, and each brings a tribute of loving remembrance for the comrade who here won a victor’s laurels and a victor’s grave.

 

This hour, with its reminiscent story, belongs in a special manner to the Eight Connecticut Volunteers, and it is of them, for them, and to them that I shall briefly speak. In complying with the request to prepare an address for this occasion two difficulties have been encountered. First, there was a hesitation in withdrawing the service of my own regiment from that vast record of heroic deeds of which it forms a page, lest I might seem to be overmuch praising the survivors, for whom I speak. But there came to me these words of Dr. Bushnell’s grand commemoration address: “It is the ammunition spent that gains the battle, not the ammunition brought off the field. These dead are the spent ammunition of the war, and theirs above all is the victory.” The other difficulty was, that the mention of single deeds of valor, must necessarily be omitted; where every man was a hero a choice of names seemed impossible, and where leader and rank and file together threw themselves into the breach, they should have a common eulogy in their common death.

 

When, in the dark days of the summer of 1861, President Lincoln issued the call for volunteers for three years, Connecticut promptly responded. Regiments were organized and sent to the front with all possible speed. The Fourth, Fifth and Sixth were soon filled, and volunteers for the Seventh came forward in such

numbers that the overplus — the New Hartford Company — formed the nucleus of the Eighth, and were ordered into camp in Hartford early in September. By the 15th the regiment was full, and the gallant Edward Harland, who won his spurs in the three months’ service, commissioned as Colonel.

 

The regiment was well officered, and the rank and file represented the best blood and sinew of six counties. Hartford sent two officers and nine men ; Bridgeport one officer and eight men ; Norwich the officer and thirty-three men of Company D. The rest were country boys; Meriden, which sent a company under Captain

Upham, and Norwalk, which sent a detachment under Captain Fowler, being then but thrifty villages. The regiment, as it left Hartford for Annapolis, October 17th, 1861, halting at Jamaica, L. I., where it encamped two weeks, mustered over one thousand strong. Some were scholars ; some were farmers ; some were artisans or laborers— plain men who had never heard of Thermopylae or Sempach, but m whose breasts burned the fire of Leonidas at the pass ; of Winkelried, as he gathered to his bosom the Austrian spears and ” made way for liberty.” The inspiration of an exalted patriotism made heroes of them all.

 

They were men that day who would stand alone

On the bridge Horatius kept;

They were men who would fight at Marathon,

Who would battle with Stark at Bennington.

When flashing from sabre and flint-lock gun,

The fires of freedom leapt.

 

Such was the heart and fibre of the men who embarked at Annapolis, November 6, to take part in that famous Burnside expedition. We can but briefly follow the stormy and tedious voyage, the engagements at Roanoke Island and at Newbern, where the Eighth were’among the first over the ramparts, and where two men of the regiment were killed and four wounded.

 

At FortMacon, worn with the long siege, with ranks depleted by sickness, and forty dying of typhoid fever, the Eighth did most arduous service. Ordered forward to pick off the rebel gunners, eight men were killed and twenty wounded before the fort capitulated. Colonel Harland was ill, Major Appleman wounded, and no field officer of the regiment was present to receive the surrendered flag, which trophy the Eighth had fairly won.

 

Tediously the early summer of 1862 wore away to the soldiers encamped on the banks of the Neuse and at Newport News, with fever making inroads on constitutions worn by a laborious siege. August found them at Fredericksburg, near which city they were for a month on picket duty.

 

But Washington was menaced, and August 31st saw the Eighth, with the Ninth Army Corps, on line of march for the Capital, from which city they moved September 8 to join McClellan’s army in pursuit of Lee, arriving at Frederick just in time to see Jackson‘s cavalry driven out of its streets.

 

On the 14th was won the furious and bloody fight of SouthMountain, where the Eighth was under fire, but held in reserve, with the bullets cutting the branches of the trees overhead.

 

At noon on the 15th of September the Ninth Corps took up the march from SouthMountain to Sharpsburg, and morning found Harland’s Brigade near Antietam Creek, where they remained all day within range of the rebel batteries on the heights beyond. At dark the brigade moved to position on the extreme Union left, and lay all night in line of battle. The Union line stretched for four miles along the Antietam, the enemy holding a position on the west side of the stream, protecting Sharpsburg, the bridges and the fords. General Burnside was in command of the Ninth Corps, which formed the left wing, Brigadier-General Rodman, of the

Third Division, and Colonel Harland, of the Second Brigade ; the Eighth, Eleventh and Sixteenth Connecticut, and the Fourth Rhode Island. At sunrise a ball from a rebel battery crashed through the Eighth, killing three men, and frightfully wounding four. The Connecticut Brigade was early in the day advanced on the left to support a battery near the creek, and came again under a sharp fire.

 

But how shall tongue recount the stubborn fighting all throughout the day, the awful carnage all along the line, as four times the field was lost and won ? How shall we picture the desperate conflicts in the cornfield and in the “bloody lane,” or tell how Burnside held the hill, or the Eleventh stormed the bridge, or Harland’s

Brigade forded the stream in the face of furious cannonading and

raking musket fire ?

 

At four o’clock Rodman’s division was ordered forward. At the command from Colonel Harland the Eighth on the brigade right started, the Eleventh had not come up, the Sixteenth and the Fourth Rhode Island were delayed by some confusion of orders, but the Eighth, under Colonel Appleman, now on the extreme Union left, charged steadily up the hill, and as they reached the crest the rebel troops were but a few yards in front.

 

Halting and firing as they can, the Eighth pass on until alone they gain the crest of the hill, with three batteries turned upon them and a storm of shot and shell sweeping through the ranks. The color guard falls ! Another siezes the standard, he too falls ! A third ! A fourth ! and with him the standard goes down. But

Private Charles H. Walker, of Company D, siezes the staff and waves the riddled banner in the very face of the foe. The ofiicers stand like targets. Colonel Appleman falls ! . Nine others are wounded, staggering, dying. Men fall by scores, as thick and fast pours the leaden hail. Major Ward rallies the thinning ranks, and looks for re-inforcements. ” We must fall back.” And down the hill, in stern, unwilling column, march a hundred men where four times that number charged bravely up the slope. In the words of Chaplain Morris :

 

” No regiment of the Ninth Corps has advanced so far, or held out so long, or retired in formation so good. By their stubborn fight they have saved many others from death or capture, and by their orderly retreat they saved themselves.”

 

And here, on this spot, marking the advanced position of the regiment on that ” bloodiest day that America ever saw,” the Eighth has chosen its monumental site. Is it not indeed hallowed ground, its precincts baptized with the blood of one hundred and ninety- four men of the regiment here killed or wounded? In no battle of the war did Connecticut troops suffer so heavily. Harland’s Brigade

loss was six hundred and eighteen in killed and wounded, one of the heaviest brigade losses in the entire army. Here General Rodman fell, mortally wounded, in the charge which cost Connecticut so dear.

 

Night closed the contest, but Oh ! the appalling scenes after the battle, the agonies of the wounded and the dying, the unspeakably mournful tasks of the surgeons and the survivors who all that night and the next day buried their dead. Near the point where they made their gallant charge, side by side, were laid the dead of the Eighth, with rude pine headboards marking the graves.

 

Continuing on duty with the Army of the Potomac, it was not until December that the Eighth saw fighting again, this time at Fredericksburg. At FortHuger, Walthall Junction, Drury’s Bluff, Cold Harbor, FortDarling, Petersburg and FortHarrison, the Eighth was engaged with more or less loss.

 

At Drury’s Bluff they were commended for special gallantry ; at FortHarrison the regiment suffered a loss of eight killed and sixty-five wounded. On the 3rd of April, 1865, they were with the advance of the Union army at Richmond. After the close of the war the Eighth did military duty for several months at Lynchburg,

and was mustered out December 12th, 1865, after a service of four years and two months, a longer time than was served by any Connecticut regiment, except the First Artillery and the Thirteenth Infantry.

 

Meager as has been the foregoing outline of a four years’ record of heroic sacrifice, it calls for an answer to the question :

 

*’ For what cause did these men do battle ? ” A candid look at the question compels the answer : “They and all the loyal men who fought from 1861 to 1865 were battling for Union and liberty against disunion and treason.” Those good people who counsel that the issues of the late war should be spoken of only in whispers, who say, apprehensively, *’ the war is over, we are all brethren again,

don’t mention the sectional differences of 1861,” are demeaning the services of every man who fought in the late war for the Union. If the men who left home and all that was dear to peril life at their country’s call had no high motive, no inspiration that is worth the mention, where was the heroism ? Take away the righteousness of a cause, and war is but stupendous butchery.

 

I tell you, comrades, in such a place as this we must speak of the issues at stake in that dreadful war, or our hearts would burst as we contemplate the fearful cost at which this Union was saved, the Union for which these our brothers fought and bled and starved and died. The Union threatened with dismemberment, assailed by those who had sworn to support and defend it ! The Union, not only of Lincoln and the Republic of t86i, but the Union of Washington and the men who fought in 1776, and cemented their rights of government in a ratification of the constitution of 1787. Washington himself, who presided over the convention which framed

our national constitution, said : “In all our deliberations we kept steadily in view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American — the consolidation of our Union — in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, and, perhaps, our national existence.” The Union, complete and indissoluble, was the first great principle of Washington‘s policy. In that immortal address

at the close of his Presidential service, the father of his country summed up his farewell to his countrymen in these words :

 

” It is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your National Union to your collective and individual happiness ; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, immovable attachment to it ; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as the palladium of our political safety and prosperity ;

watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety ; discount nancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can, in any event, be abandoned ; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.”

 

Shade of Washington, son of Virginia, noblest type of Southern chivalry ! Didst thou forsee that it would be a Virginian, one allied to thine own house, one nurtured and educated by the nation, who would turn traitor to his oath of fealty, and lead an army to destroy the structure thou didst rear, and dying, bequeath to this Republic ?

 

The Union, the legacy of Washington and the fathers to succeeding generations, the Union which had stood before the world for seventy years as the home of peace, of prosperity, of constitutional liberty ; whose emblem, the stars and stripes, was hailed as the banner of the free in every clime ; it was to preserve this from dismemberment, to snatch its banner from disgrace at home and from obloquy among the nations, it was for this that two millions of loyal men periled life in that four years’ struggle, it was for this that blood ran as rivers on this ghastly field in 1862.

 

And, thank God ! the Union was preserved. To-day it stands, forty four stars studding its blue ensign, seventy millions of people within its borders, with a prosperity and a future opening before it such as the world has never seen.

 

Standing on the verge of the twentieth century, we look back thirty-two years, and say of those who fell here, and on every bloody field of that long conflict, ” Theirs v/as a glorious death, and for a glorious cause, and its meaning grows more luminous with the lapse of years. We were too near them to fully under-

stand. They who fell never knew that Time, the great transmuter, would make heroes of them all. We saw their imperfections, we knew them as 7nen, future generations will know them as martyrs whose blood was the seed of a reunited nation.

 

” So take them, Heroes of the songful Past ! Open your ranks, let every shining troop Its phantom banners droop, To hail Earth’s noblest martyrs and her last.

Take them, O Fatherland, Who dying, conquered in thy name : And, with a grateful hand. Inscribe their deeds who took away thy blame. Give, for their grandest all, thine insufficient fame ! Take them, O God, our brave.

The glad fulfillers of Thy dread decree; Who grasped the sword for Peace, and smote to save. And dying here for Freedom, died for Thee.”

 

And now, comrades in arms, tried friends in peace, we who came from this field in our young manhood, scathed, it may be, proud to carry through life an empty sleeve, a shattered breast, a halting step, an aching wound as our offering, where the supreme sacrifice was not required ; we who, on other fields, carried the musket or unsheathed the sword ; we who languished in prison pen

or noxious swamp ; now, a handful, representing the two hundred survivors of the two thousand men who fought under the banner of the Eighth, we have come again. All things are changed ; these hills give back no echo of the battle’s din ; no rushing charge tramples the grassy fields ; no gory tide flows down the quiet

stream. The graves are leveled, their rough headboards gone.

 

In yonder cemetery, watched by a nation’s care, sleep those of our comrades who were left upon the field. Along the Carolina coast and on Virginian hills lie many more, while mouldering with kindred dust in the cemeteries of our own state, or in lonely graves ” by mount and stream and sea” the scattered remnant rest. For some the hand of affection has raised a memorial stone, and the names of many are graven on the soldier’s monuments in the old home towns. Some lie in nameless graves, and of some the only record is the sad word “missing.”

 

But here is a monument for all. The State of Connecticut commissions us to-day to dedicate to the memory of every soldier of her Eighth Volunteer Infantry this monument, that henceforth none who served in that organization shall fail of a fitting memorial. Here, cut in enduring granite, is their record of valor ; here the knapsack and the bayonet, symbols of the march and the intrepid charge.

 

O, comrades ! who, weary with the march and the onset, have heard the tattoo call, drawn the curtains of your tents and fallen asleep — to you, we who remain, in the name of our grateful commonwealth, dedicate this perpetual memorial. Be it ours to tend it, and ours to accept the legacy which you have left us — devotion

until death, to a Union saved and reunited.